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Showing posts from 2019

The Intersectional Swiftboat Waltz

This past week the Working Families Parties endorsed Elizabeth Warren in the democratic primary. It's a somewhat obscure thing, in terms of national politics. WFP is a nominally left party started in New York state. In New York rather than run their own candidates they endorse Democrats. The choice of the centrist Warren over Sanders isn't without precedent. They endorsed Joe Crowley over Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Andrew Cuomo over Zephyr Teachout. The entire affair is only relevant for what it suggests that we can expect from the rest of the primary. When the endorsement was announced, members asked leadership to release the breakdown of votes, as they did in 2015 when the party endorsed Sanders. Leadership refused, saying something about preserving the integrity of the vote. What was obvious, where the 56 person leadership/advisory board had a vote equal to that of the 10,000+ membership, is that the leaders had heavily favored Warren while the members went to Sanders.

Bernie, You're the Man

Images of Bernie Sanders put to Marvin Gaye's You're the Man. Marvin Gaye's posthumous album can be purchased here , here , or anyplace records and CDs are sold online and the physical world. Update It was recommended that I leave the audio from the video clips.

You Can’t Fix a Disparity By Focusing on the Disparity

The US is one of 13 nations experiencing a growing maternal mortality rate since the international community set as one of the Millenium Development goals in 1990 to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters by the year 2015. Within that rate, Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die than white women. To address this shocking disparity, Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has offered the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act. Senator Elizabeth Warren  has also offered her own ideas for addressing this racial disparity. The one-pager accompanying the CARE Act explains, researchers, medical professionals, and the public believed high rates of...maternal mortality in Black women could be traced to income, educational level, health care access, and even genetics. Today, however, there is [a] growing body of evidence...that racism and social discrimination faced by Black women throughout their lifetimes contribute to higher rates of maternal mortality and mo

Stuck: The Absence of a Political Argument in the Debate Over Reparations

On June 17 , in Washington, D.C., Reverend William Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign hosted a presidential forum as a part of its 3 day event called the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress. In his discussions with each presidential candidate, Reverend Barber hewed to questions that focused tightly on the way that voter disenfranchisement, especially disenfranchisement of Black voters, helps to maintain poverty for people of all races .  He, in fact, took pains to note that the states most impacted by voter suppression also tend to be the states with the highest rates of overall poverty. To underline this insight, he consistently returned to the point that our nation’s 140 million low-wage workers and people in poverty, while disproportionately Black, is, in raw numbers, more white. Consistent with his efforts to take up a modern-day version of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr’s mission, Reverend Barber has taken on his messaging a s well, as when MLK said in 1968 : I don't

50 is the New Black

So where ever you are, whenever you see this, glass in hand or no, please join me in saying, "Thank you Lillie Mae for this moment your effort has brought into being." Despite thinking last year I might want to approach birthdays differently, and this being one of those milestone years, I found myself responding to my roommate asking, "what do you want to do for your birthday?" with "oh shit, that's soon." A high school friend has been doing a "50 days to 50" thread on Facebook, essentially 50 days of gratitude.  My initial wish that I had thought of something similar was met with, "seriously dude? Do you even know who you are?" Aside from actually feeling like a huge number the most significant thing about turning 50 is that I will remember my age this year consistently without doing any math. Periodically I think it's fair to ask myself if I'm in denial, in some way, about aging, about where I am in my life, its composi

Is Cynicism More Disqualifying Than Ignorance?

I was somewhat reluctant at the time to ascribe any specific intent to Elizabeth Warren's DNA stunt, just focusing on what it said about her political instincts. In retrospect, because of subsequent choices, I see it as craven cynicism. I get that, "I have a plan for that!" is supposed to be her new brand, but obviously, a working plan isn't a central part of that. Her brand should actually be "Pandering Cynic". I now find myself wondering if even she thinks the policy she offers will do what she says it's intended to do. I've been saying in my head that I feel irrational anger towards her, but it's actually quite rational and specific. My posting schedule has been off because I've been playing with the idea of submitting pieces for publication. I've been thinking a lot about how we talk about disparities and how the conversation is used as a cudgel against universal policy. The closest to a good faith version of this argument is

Sometimes It's Just the Sum of the Parts

In recognizing that none of the things in my head right now are compelling enough to justify thinking through an entire post to pretend there's depth behind the bored sketched out thoughts that amount to a couple of tweet threads I'm putting it all together in one post: Schrödinger's Candidate Matt Yglesias wrote a piece at Vox suggesting the left should worry Joe Biden's chance at winning the nomination. Almost simultaneously someone who'd have bet against Biden entering the race a month ago expressed some dismay over his sustained poll numbers. I think that what they both get wrong, and which will grow increasingly clear, is that Biden's numbers aren't real. While I'm sure he has some core supporters he's still being evaluated as a potential candidate, not on the basis of what he will do as a candidate. What we know so far is that he's poised in contrast to Bernie  to be dismissive of the economic system his policies leave behind for mill

Have They Ever Asked What People Like About Their Insurance?

I don't talk much about the fact that I used to live in Barcelona. It's not often relevant unless I'm playing Two Truths and a Lie. Full disclosure: I kinda forget about it. It feels like a lifetime ago. It is in the sense that I've been back in the US for almost as long as I lived there and my life here is less part of that continuum than a completely different story featuring the same central character. Still, random memories of events will spring into my head, and I think, "oh shit, that happened to me." This week I found myself thinking about my emergency room visit while there. I cut a deep gash in my hand and started applying pressure and thinking about my self-treatment plan. My partner insisted that we go to the emergency room. I'm only just now recognizing how irrational my resistance to seeking professional treatment must have seemed to her. Our healthcare system is monstrously unique in its level of apathy, the concept of not seeking basic tre

What Won't They do to Stop Bernie?

In November I began writing what I considered at the time the argument for white leftists to support Bernie's universalist  plans that represent a continuation of MLK's mission while easily deflecting accusations of being racist for not buying into the idiotic culture war framing that's useless and usually ascendant. I started by attempting to clearly describe the difference between systemic racism and personal bias based on the history of the creation of race. I followed that by explaining my own journey to a framework for racism that made it a problem for poor people regardless of race that might be fought through coalition. From those two pieces it was easy to explain that Bernie represented t he only actual anti-racist platform , since any actual anti-racism would center a massive downward re-distribution of wealth . The effort initially seemed in vain, since many of my white mutual followers 'cancelled' me. By that I mean that a number of them after arguing t